Preliminary monthly estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that New Jersey total nonfarm employment decreased by 2,600 jobs in December, to reach a seasonally adjusted total of 4,208,700, while the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.0 percent.A preliminary over-the-year analysis shows that from December 2017 until December 2018, New Jersey employers added 61,900 jobs. All of the gains were recorded by private sector employers (+61,900); public sector employment was unchanged through the year. The year 2018 represents the ninth consecutive year New Jersey has recorded private sector job growth. Since February 2010 (the recessionary low point for private sector employment), New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 403,900 jobs.Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for November was revised lower by 100 to show an over-the-month (October–November) decrease of 1,900 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month decrease of 1,800 jobs. The state’s revised November unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.0 percent.In December, employment decreases were recorded in five out of nine major private industry sectors. Industry sectors that lost jobs over the month included trade, transportation, and utilities (-2,400), education and health services (-1,500), information (-200), professional and business services (-200), and leisure and hospitality (-200). Industries that added jobs over the month include other services (+900), financial activities (+500), construction (+400), and manufacturing (+400). Over the month, public-sector employment was lower by 300 jobs.Benchmarked data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which will present a more complete picture of the New Jersey economy for the entire calendar year of 2018, will be released on March 11.